Dressage lesson at Epona riding centre

Epona - High School Classical Dressage

One of our most popular riding holidays takes place in Andalusia, Spain, and is perfect for lovers of classical dressage. Close to Seville and the Royal Andalusia School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, this dressage training holiday in Spain offers various levels of dressage courses supervised by a team of passionate instructors on beautifully schooled horses.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Dressage stays
7 days/ 5 days riding
From £1,800
Open to non-riders

From the horse’s mouth

  • Epona - High School Classical Dressage
    May 2023 Vanessa aged 45
    I rode Salaito & Capricho. Both lovely big horses, very well educated however not push button to ride.
  • Epona - High School Classical Dressage
    January 2022 Lesley aged 66
    As usual, excellent horses and tuition from Vivi and Rafael. Think I did every high school movement in a lesson with Rafael this time. Three weeks well spent after 2 years of lockdown and not being able to visit. Thanks again for organising another excellent trip to Epona via a couple of days in beautiful Sevilla All... Read all
  • Epona - High School Classical Dressage
    September 2019 Julie aged 50
    Epona Equestrian Centre was just fabulous. Vivy, Fernando, Jane and Paz couldn't have made it more special. What a lovely friendly team, what fantastic horses and amazing tuition. I loved every minute of it and will definitely be returning. They were all beautiful. Superbly schooled and impeccably behaved.
  • Epona - High School Classical Dressage
    July 2018 Lesley aged 62
    Once again Epona was a fantastic place to be. Fantastic stallions to ride, superb coaching from Vivi and Rafael Soto and a warm welcome from all the family and staff at Epona. It really is 'home from home' for me and have already booked my next trip Naranjero - gorgeous but slightly quirky stallion. Find the right... Read all
  • Epona - High School Classical Dressage
    February 2018 Lesley aged 62
    As usual, Epona was a welcoming place. Excellent horses and excellent training. Food at Epona is as good as any decent restaurant too. Both Naranjuelo and Centello are relatively new to Epona. Both had good work ethics. Centello is a bit of a worrier but works well with sensitive riding
  • Epona instructor chatting to two dressage riders
    Train with competent, BHS-approved dressage instructors
  • Dresage rider having a lesson in Spain at Epona Equestrian Centre
    Ride beautiful schoolmasters at Epona, Spain
  • Dressage rider training at Epona in Spain
    Enjoy high school dressage lessons in a beautiful environment
  • Horse and rider standing still in an arena at Epona
    Epona has fantastic facilities and is open all year round
  • Epona Equestrian centre in Spain
    Experience the finesse of Spanish horses
  • Facilities at Epona riding centre in Andalucia, spain
    Dressage training programme in Andalucia, Spain
  • Andalucian horse and his rider at EPona dressage centre in Spain
    Dressage holiday, Spain
  • Horseback rider on a dressage lesson in Andalucia, Spain
    Treat yourself to an intensive dressage training holiday in Spain
  • Rider doing dressage moves on horseback
    Enjoy dressage lessons on horses for all levels
  • Riding facilities on a dressage holiday at Epona in Spain
    The riding centre is BHS approved so you can be assured of the quality of horses and tuition

Itinerary

Highlights

- Intensive training: small groups of 2 to 3 riders per session - riders of a similar level.
- High School Classical programme: Private and semi-private lessons.
- Stay in a charming 4 star hotel in the nearby town of Carmona
- Classical programme: One lesson with Rafael Soto, Olympic silver medalist, current Technical Director of the Royal Andalusia School of Equestrian Art in Jerez and coach of the Spanish dressage team. (See notes under Prices)
- The riding centre is BHS approved so you can be assured of the quality of horses and tuition
- Visit the renowned Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez.
- Free time to enjoy the charms of Andalusia
- Accompanying non-riders are welcome - for golf lovers, there is one of the best courses in Europe only a 20 minutes drive from the Hacienda
  • Day 1 1 : SEVILLE - EPONA - No riding

    Alcazar de la Reina Hotel
    Arriving into Seville (flight not included). You will be met by your taxi driver and transferred to your hotel in Carmona, just 20 minutes away by car. The cost of this transfer is not included, and you may choose the option of a free transfer from the train station at 4:30 p.m

    You will be shown to your room and depending on the your arrival time - and mood -, you may choose to take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, lounge out on the patio or have a classic Spanish siesta!

    Carmona is a remarkable city, renowned for its history visible from its varied styles of architecture influenced by the people who have lived and occupied the city throughout the ages.

    In the evening, you will have your first taste of Sevillian and Andalusian cuisine, which has many delicious traditional dishes. You will have dinner with your host and over the course of the meal, Fernando will explain the itinerary for the rest of your week

    You will spend the night at the Alcazar de la Reina hotel.
  • Day 2 2 : DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION - Programme riding hours vary

    After breakfast, Fernando will be waiting to collect you from the hotel and drive you to the hacienda where your dressage training will begin.

    Your day's lesson will depend upon your chosen programme (to be specified when booking):

    - Intensive Training: a group dressage lesson allows your instructor to evaluate your level and your experience and identify areas that need to be worked on. After a short break, you will have your first lunging session. Lessons are in groups of up to 4 riders (max.).
    - Classical dressage training: You will have a semi- private lesson (2 riders), then after a short break you will change to a new mount for a private lesson. This will then be followed by doing some groundwork or a lunge lesson - great for improving your seat, balance and posture.

    All the riders will come together to have a traditional Andalusian lunch, courtesy of the resident cook, and in the afternoon you will have 'free-time'.

    After each lesson you can take time to relax in the garden, by the pool, or in the comfortable lounge area. You will also be very welcome to watch the horse training taking place in the yard daily - Vivi, the trainer will be happy to answer any of your questions!

    At the end of the afternoon, after the final lesson, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Carmona. You are free to eat at any of the restaurants in town, or even to use room-service if you are tired! Dinner is payable locally.
  • Day 3 3 : DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION - Programme riding hours vary

    Alcazar de la Reina Hotel
    After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and driven to the hacienda.

    This morning, you have the opportunity to visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art to see the famous Andalucians Stallions performing a show. Renowned throughout the world for their breath-taking exhibitions on ‘How the Andalusian horses dance’, these shows are a real delight as the horses perform intricate and demanding movements with effortless grace and control.

    Depending on your chosen programme:

    - Intensive training: group dressage lesson (max. 4 riders), lunge line lesson, lunch followed by another group lesson.
    - High School dressage training: semi-private lesson (max. 2 riders), followed by a private lesson then a lunge line lesson. After lunch, you are free to relax as you please.

    You will be transferred back to Carmona for dinner and to spend the night in the hotel (dinner payable locally).
  • Day 4 4 : DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION - Programme riding hours vary

    Alcazar de la Reina Hotel
    After breakfast, you will be transferred from Carmona to the hacienda.

    Depending on the chosen programme:

    - Intensive dressage: Group lessons, hopefully performing some more advanced movements, then a lunge line lesson - after lunch you will have another lesson (up to 4 riders).
    - High School dressage training: Semi-private lesson (2 riders), a private lesson. After a break, ground work where the trainer will demonstrate one to one, the techniques used for some of the more advanced movements.

    You will have lunch in the hacienda's dining room and spend your afternoon relaxing.

    Later in the afternoon, you will be transferred back to Carmona to have dinner (payable locally) and relax in the hotel or explore the town.
  • Day 5 5 : DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION - Programme riding hours vary

    Alcazar de la Reina Hotel
    After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the hacienda.

    Depending on your chosen programme:

    - Intensive training: group lesson, lunch and in the afternoon another group lesson (up to 4 riders).
    - High School Dressage: Semi- private lesson (2 riders), private lesson and work in hand.

    At the end of the day, you will be transferred back to your hotel for dinner (payable locally) and to spend the night.
  • Day 6 6 : SEVILLE - DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION - Programme riding hours vary

    Alcazar de la Reina Hotel
    After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the hacienda.

    Depending on your chosen programme:
    - Intensive training : Enjoy your last training lesson in the morning before tasting the famous paella, freshly prepared and accompanied by Sangria. After an afternoon nap or swim, you will be driven to Seville to watch a Flamenco Show (payable locally €37).

    - High School Dressage Training: Private lessons given by Rafael Soto, semi-private lesson and a working demo.
    Rafael Soto usually gives lessons on a Friday, but this will depend on his schedule. If the lessons are likely to be on a different day, you will be told on arrival.
    After a delicious lunch of paella, freshly prepared and accompanied by Sangria and an afternoon nap or swim you will be transferred to Seville for a visit to the tack shop, and then free time to explore the city or even take a carriage drive.

    You will have dinner out on the town (the team from Epona will recommend a good restaurant - payable locally). At the end of the night you will be transferred back to Carmona for a final night in the hotel.
  • Day 7 7 : EPONA - SEVILLE - Programme riding hours vary

    There maybe time to relax this morning and enjoy one last swim before packing up your things and being transferred back to the train station or airport. The first transfer from the hotel to the airport will be at 8:00 am and the last transfer will be at 11:00 am.

    - High School Dressage Training: You will have your final lesson in the morning before the last transfer to the airport leaves.

    If you book an evening flight, you may choose to leave your luggage at the airport and set off to explore a bit more of Seville.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room (half-board).

- Lessons taught in English or Spanish. There are usually no more than two riders in a lesson, max. 4.

- Two options are available, either:
> "Intensive dressage training" for riders who wish to improve their dressage. The programme for the week: 8 dressage lessons in small groups and 2 individual lunge lessons (listed price).

> "High School dressage training" for advanced riders who want to experience High School riding or refine it. The programme for the week: 5 semi-private lessons, 5 private lessons one of which is with Rafaël Soto, 2 lunge sessions and 2 sessions in hand on the ground. The price for this programme €2665/£2300/$2825. Important, your last lesson is in the morning of day 7 and not in the afternoon of day 6. Not available on certain dates, please contact us.

- If you sign up to the ride as a solo rider and there are no other riders likely to share your room, you will be charged a single room supplement of approx. €320/£280/$340 in 2024, or €345/£295/$380 in 2025. You will then be reimbursed if a sharer is found for you at a later date.

- Pick-up transfers are available from San Justa train station at set times (4:30pm). For pick-ups at the airport, a taxi driver can be booked for meeting on arrival. Please enquire to know the exact rate.

- Extra and to be paid locally:
1h group lesson: €65
1 hour semi-private group: €85
45 min Individual courses: €90
High school classes with Andalusian schoolmaster: €100
Trail 1 hour: €55

- Rate for non-riders: €995/£865/$1060

- Special rate under 12 - 20% discount. Children under 3 get free accommodation with their parents.

Activities for non-riders:
- Guitar lessons (on request)
- Bike (on request)
- Land Rover tour of the Donana (on request)
- Transfer to the beach - approx. €35 (if space available)
- Transfer to Jerez - approx. €27 (if space available)
- Flamenco classes - approx. €150
- Golf

- SPECIAL DATES:
SEMANA SANTA (Holy Week) April 13-20 2025
FERIA DE ABRIL (Seville Fair) May 05- 11 2025
FERIA DEL CABALLO (Jerez Horse Fair) May 18-24, 2025
FERIA DE CARMONA May 14-19 2025
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking teacher

Inland transport

Transfers from the train station at 4.30 pm

Accommodation

Double room in hotel standard 4*(6 nights)

Meals

Half board from breakfast day 2 to breakfast day 7
Dinner on day 1 is included in the price

Extras

1 hour access to the hotel sauna (to be arranged locally)

Price doesn't include

Meals

Dinners on day 2 to day 7 are not included
Beverages and personal extras

Transport

Airport transfers
International flights that we can book for you upon request

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
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Equestrian info

Horses

A stable of 60 horses of all levels. Most are Pure Bred Spanish horses and some Anglo- Arabians, Lusitanos and other breeds .
Instructors will match you to the horse that suits you best depending on your level, your approach and your temperament .

Maximum weight : 85 kg .

Guide & local team

Fernando runs the courses at the centre and he will come to collect you in the mornings to drive you to the hacienda for your lessons.

Viviane and Catalina, his daughters, are accomplished dressage riders and will be your instructors throughout your stay. All Epona instructors are qualified by the British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and the Spanish Equestrian Federation which means that they are trained to always have the horse and rider's safety at heart. Viviane studied at the renowned Andulusian school in Jerez . Both Viviane and Catalina speak English and Spanish.

They also train their dressage horses themselves and are happy to answer any of your questions during the daily training sessions!

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

A prior knowledge of dressage is essential to get the most out of these lessons. Equally important is the openness to learn new ways of doing things. The goal at Epona is that you see a huge improvement in your riding but also have fun. You must be competent at walk, trot and canter.

Rider weight limit: 85 kg (intensive) or 80 (high school). Riders over the limit please contact us.

Pace

The programme includes lessons in the morning and afternoon, plus some lunge sessions which are excellent for improving seat, balance and posture. You will hopefully get to experience passage, piaffe and flying changes.

Tacking ability and participation

The grooms will tack and untack your horse. However, you are welcome to assist in untaking and washing off the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

There are no requirements, but you must be in good physical condition and have a good basic knowledge of dressage to get the most out of the lessons.


Equestrian equipment

Helmets are obligatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
Dressage saddle
Simple bridles or bits
Stick, spurs, dressage aids

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay in a charming 4 star hotel in the heart of Carmona, in double or twin rooms. Their are ensuite bathrooms and towels are provided. The hotel has a restuarant, a tapas bar and an Irish bar, as well as a swimming pool and patio areas. In the town of Carmona there are many restaurants to choose from - simple tapas to silver service - or you can choose to eat at the hotel or use their room service.

During the day, at the riding centre's hacienda, there is a swimming pool (towels will be provided), a relaxing lounge and outdoor seating areas. You will have lunch in their dining room each day.

Please note: Epona has good Wi-fi service, however at the hotel the connection is limited.

Meals

Breakfast is continental and dinner is had all together, buffet style, at the hacienda. Apart from the first evening where you will enjoy a buffet dinner with your host Fernando, dinners are not included. You may choose to eat in the restaurant at the hotel or in local restaurants.

Climate

Situated in southern Spain, not far from the African continent, Seville enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Being set inland from the sea, in the vast Guadalquivir plain, this allows for relatively mild and clement weather all year long.

The average yearly temperature is around 19.2 °C.

Seville’s summers can be long and scorching with average temperatures often over 25 °C from May to October; with a record high of 46.6 °C. The temperatures peak between June and September with the temperature routinely reaching/ or topping 30 °C.

Tips

It is customary to leave a tip in restaurants in Spain. Around 10% of the bill is the standard, although it is often include – so do check. Tipping both in restaurants and to the team at the hacienda rests at your discretion.

We suggest two alternatives when you leave a tip. You can hand out the chosen amount personally to the staff member or members to whom you wish to show your appreciation, or you can put a general amount in an envelope and hand it to a member of the Garcia family (preferably Vivi), to be divided up equally, or according to your specifications, among the staff. Please do not give tips to be divided, to any members of staff, to avoid confusion and sometimes problems among the staff.

Packing list

In Spring, Autumn and especially in the summer months, it can get very hot, so to avoid feeling sweaty and sticky all the time, try to choose natural fabrics, especially cotton. Dress at Epona is very casual, even for the visits, jeans and T-shirts or a summery dress, are fine. For emergencies at the hotel there is a laundry service.

Head
- Helmets are mandatory in Spain and at Epona this is enforced. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable.
- Sunhat: cap for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding

Upper Body
Weather can change so we recommend bringing tops you can wear in layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and vests etc.

- Half or long-sleeved cotton shirts (to provide protection from the sun) or T-shirt in a quick-drying material
- A lightweight fleece or jumper
- A swimsuit
- If coming in winter, autumn or spring, a light shower jacket (the kind you can fold up into a little ball)

Legs
- 2 pairs of jodhpurs or riding trousers
- 1 pair of casual trousers (tracksuit bottoms, leggings or jeans)
- Cotton or synthetic underwear (non-irritant)

Hands and feet
- Short jodhpur boots and half chaps are the best option as they are much cooler and easier to transport, but if you are used to riding in your long boots and want to wear them it is fine.
- Lightweight shoes, sandals or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - as you will be riding the horse on the bit requiring a good contact along with the warmer conditions, blisters can develop which will definitely spoil your enjoyment of the riding for the rest of the week.

Other useful items
- Toiletries
- Small medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor (at least 30+)
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..

General information
- The airline allows only one bag to be checked-in per passenger. Make sure it weighs no more than 20kg; if it exceeds this weight, you will have to pay excess luggage fees at check-in
- Hand luggage is limited to 7kg (measuring 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm), it mustn't contain any sharp objects (knives, scissors, nail file or nail scissors, etc.) and the quantity of liquid allowed per passenger is limited to 100ml per container.

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The spanish walk 

The origin of the spanish walk has many different stories attached. One of them is that during the Renaissance period horses that horses that were very good in dressage were greatly appreciated as an art form. The other is that it was the walk that they took when trying to intimidate the enemy when going into battle.

The hose raises and stretches out each fore leg while advancing. The balance, the symetary, the regularity and stability coupled with the relaxed manner of the horse defines a good spanish walk. 

On the blog

Equus Journeys rider Lesley is no stranger to our school of dressage based near Seville, Spain -  and on her 4th (and likely, not her last!) visit, she was greeted by Fernando once again with the words "You are family". This epitomises the warmth and the hospitality that is extended to all visitors, old and new. On our Equus blog, Lesley recounts her day by day during her time at Epona on the "High School Dressage" training programme.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Vanessa aged 45 VICTORIA PARK 1 trip
    May 2023
    I rode Salaito & Capricho. Both lovely big horses, very well educated however not push button to ride.
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Lesley aged 66 MAIDENHEAD 10 trips
    January 2022
    As usual, excellent horses and tuition from Vivi and Rafael. Think I did every high school movement in a lesson with Rafael this time. Three weeks well spent after 2 years of lockdown and not being able to visit. Thanks again for organising another excellent trip to Epona via a couple of days in beautiful Sevilla All... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Julie aged 50 Harrogate 1 trip
    September 2019
    Epona Equestrian Centre was just fabulous. Vivy, Fernando, Jane and Paz couldn't have made it more special. What a lovely friendly team, what fantastic horses and amazing tuition. I loved every minute of it and will definitely be returning. They were all beautiful. Superbly schooled and impeccably behaved.
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    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Lesley aged 62 Maidenhead 10 trips
    July 2018
    Once again Epona was a fantastic place to be. Fantastic stallions to ride, superb coaching from Vivi and Rafael Soto and a warm welcome from all the family and staff at Epona. It really is 'home from home' for me and have already booked my next trip Naranjero - gorgeous but slightly quirky stallion. Find the right... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Lesley aged 62 Maidenhead 10 trips
    February 2018
    As usual, Epona was a welcoming place. Excellent horses and excellent training. Food at Epona is as good as any decent restaurant too. Both Naranjuelo and Centello are relatively new to Epona. Both had good work ethics. Centello is a bit of a worrier but works well with sensitive riding
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  • Rebecca RICHMOND 1 trip
    October 2017
    The Epona visit was very organized and the staff was great The horse they chose for me was very talented. The staff and Raphael Soto said my horse was the favorite. Super!
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    • Programme
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    • Local guide
  • Lesley aged 61 Maidenhead 10 trips
    March 2017
    Fantastic people. well schooled horses and a lot of 'lightbulb' moments during and after sessions. Very impressed with everything again Line & Habanero - both beautifully schooled and willing
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide